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Debt-ridden courier's suicide after bailiff visit prompts call for reforms

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I think the new fees make it too tempting for enforcement companies not to continue enforcement activity in most situations and to do so in a way that collects the money as quickly as possible. I don't think many Enforcement Agents really care about the welfare of the people they are visiting. They simply want the money for their company and clients.

 

Reduce the fees and introduce new safeguards to ensure that these type of situations are not allowed to happen. If someone was really unable to pay the amount due and not able to come to an arrangement with an EA, then there should be an additional court process or application, where the creditor owed the money has a legal duty to offer longer term payment options.


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It's a hard one to balance,

 

I agree there should be more flexibility,

The only problem is some people would abuse it ,

 

I could have been in the same situation, debts spiralling out of control, through no fault of my own.

and the debt is still there, but it is managed now,

I found CAG at the right time.and learnt a lot.

 

Yes the EA needs to make money,

I had a £95 CT debt, which I missed on the internet bill, this got a £95 LO charge then first letter fee £75, how can that be right!

 

But debtors Vulnerability needs to be taken into account.

I did pose this question on another thread that BA had started, but did not get any further input.

 

I do think the regs need to be looked at again, and hope the powers to be actually listen to the debt charities.

as most who make the rules have not experienced debt problems.

and with regards to Vulnerability I think there should be rules not guide lines for the EA to follow.

 

Leakie

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Ask yourself the question as to what drives these actions ? MONEY

 

And because of the vested interests, no much will be done about it. One of the main selling points of CAG is that it is an independent source of information and help. When there are discussions on these issues, unfortunately some of these vested interests do seem to be supported, rather than take a look at what can be done to achieve a much better system.

 

Government has made a choice in reducing funding provided to local authorities, as a major contribution to their austerity measures. Since then, there has been a massives increase in PCN's etc and the Enforcement industry is making hay while the sun shines.


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https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/apr/30/debt-ridden-couriers-suicide-after-bailiff-visit-prompts-call-for-reforms

 

 

The link in the first post seems only to show 2 x photos of the man and his family.

 

 

She said Newlyn could have gathered more information about Rogers’ financial circumstances, and she asked questions about how a valuation of Rogers’ bike had been made. Bailiffs cannot seize tools of trade valued at less than £1,350. Newlyn said the bike had been valued at between £1,500 and £2,000 and on that basis Cutler was permitted to clamp it, but after Rogers’ death, the family obtained a valuation from Honda that the bike was worth £400. Martin Rogers, parking manager at Newlyn, admitted that the company’s system was unable to search the value of bikes, only cars.

 

So an arbitrary figure was put on the bike - in order for them to clamp it ?


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Enforcement is fatally flawed in the fact that it adds debt to debt, often increasing already unmanageable debt to impossible, look at NELC and Liability Orders for a measly quid becoming £326.


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/apr/30/debt-ridden-couriers-suicide-after-bailiff-visit-prompts-call-for-reforms

 

 

The link in the first post seems only to show 2 x photos of the man and his family.

 

 

 

So an arbitrary figure was put on the bike - in order for them to clamp it ?

Looks that way, they will do the same with cars and vans to ground the excuse for clamping.


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Hi CB

 

I clicked on the link it showed the 2 pictures but clicked on the X in the corner and it shows the story

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Hi CB

 

I clicked on the link it showed the 2 pictures but clicked on the X in the corner and it shows the story

 

 

 

Sorry, I thought that would just close it :(


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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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A sorry case. but

plaintiff was not considered as 'vulnerable person' by Bailiffs.

He was legally an adult who committed suicide after applying for other loans.

I think his family should accept some resp for final outcome.

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I think the point they were making was how quickly the debt increased 10 fold in a short period of time,

 

he tried to apply for payday loans to clear the debt, but failed this was after he was helped with £500.00

from his parents.

 

when his motorbike was over valued by they clamped it and this was his only means of work as a courier

 

there may have been other reasons for his actions,

It was a case of a young man burying his head in the sand, but the EA was what pushed him over the edge.

 

Everyone handles thing differently

 

I do not believe the EA was responsible for what happened but may have been the last straw.

 

As I said in earlier posts, I was getting to the same poit but found CAG and learnt and eventually got help.

 

Leakie

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If this same situation had arisen in the US, i would think the deceased family would be suing the Enforcement Company. Ask yourself the question as to whether this person would still be alive had there not been a visit by an Enforcement Agent ? Also whether they would still be alive had the motorcycle not been clamped because an accurate value had been found out ? Also whether they would still be alive had the Enforcement Agent not tried to charge 2 enforcement stage fees for the same visit ?

 

If all of these questions were looked at within the US system, i suspect the Enforcement Company would be looking at a multi million Dollar settlement to the family. The UK is very different, but i would not be surprised if Lawyers were not looking into such cases with a view to taking this to court.

 

Did the Enforcement Company check with a motorcycle dealers or vehicle auction, what the current value was ? I think the actions of the EA need to be questioned properly and i hope the deceaseds family receive the legal help required.


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Totally agree with you UB

what I was trying to say was The EA was not the total reason for the debtors action,

 

But he obviously was in a very low place, and the EA was the last straw.

 

if things were put in place so that an easier payment plan was available and the EA stuck to the rules,

then may be the outcome would be different.

 

The whole picture needs to be looked at.

 

Unfortunately many people do not care if this will cause problems with the debt increasing rapidly.

including some on here.

The Debtor must follow the rules and pay the price.

 

I do not know where the happy medium would be to keep everyone happy Debtor/Creditor and the EA

 

All I know is that if it does not get looked at from both sides of the coin, we will have more of the same situations.

 

I have been told all central government funding, to Councils will be stopped, by 2020

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There can be no doubt at all that this is a tragic case and my thoughts as a parent go out to Jerome's family and friends.

 

If this was a case of a debtor being arrested for one reason or another, this discussion thread would run to quite a few pages but given that Jerome took his own life, I am personally not altogether happy with commenting too much as already, the press reports seem to be so very conflicting. For example:

 

The Daily Mail reported that at the time of Jerome's death, he owed over £1,000 for two penalty charge notices but, on closer reading of other press reports, we hear that his mothers partner paid £500 at an earlier visit and that a payment arrangement of around £100 per month was set up to clear the balance and most importantly, that at the time of the final visit......Jerome had managed to get the debt down to £200 !!!!

 

There are also many conflicting reports about the 'valuation ' of the motorcycle with his mother stating that after Jerome's death, a valuation of just £400 was given for his bike by a Honda dealer. The requirement for a 'valuation' is only necessary after a vehicle has been taken into control. In this respect, we hear that the enforcement agent valued the vehicle at between £1,500 and £2,000. And yet....further press reports are stating that Jerome had purchased the bike just 12 months earlier for £3,000 !!! If correct, then the enforcement agents valuation would appear to be fair and Honda'a valuation just plain barmy.

 

Lastly, we must not lose sight of the comments made by assistant coroner Jacqueline Devonish after she had watched bodycam footage and heard evidence from the enforcement agent. She stated that the bailiff had acted "reasonably" and was "informative", and added that "He did what he was required to do under the law."

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I think there needs to be inquiries into these situations, so that people don't end up In this position again. At the end of the day a 20 year old man has taken his own life because of two parking tickets. And most of what was being collected were the fees that Enforcement Company thought were due to them.

 

To me, it is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Two parking tickets should not end up with a motorcycle used for work purposes being clamped in order to obtain the money. According to one newspaper report Jerome had contacted the Enforcement Companies office to make a payment arrangement and they were told it was not possible, they had to speak to the EA that was dealing with it. The mother paying over £500 and attempts to pay further amounts should have been enough to satisfy the Enforcement Company.


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The tool of trade allowance is too low, it should be £2,500, as even if a motor or bike is worth less than the £1,350 other specialised tools may take value above that, removal of any of them could prevent that person from working, and DWP would see it as abandoning work so Sanction City here the debtor comes, especially if the EA sells the goods and that still doesn't clear the full debt, they have then killed the goose, what do they do to the debtor to make them cough up on zero income?


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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I think there needs to be inquiries into these situations, so that people don't end up In this position again. At the end of the day a 20 year old man has taken his own life because of two parking tickets. And most of what was being collected were the fees that Enforcement Company thought were due to them.

 

To me, it is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Two parking tickets should not end up with a motorcycle used for work purposes being clamped in order to obtain the money. According to one newspaper report Jerome had contacted the Enforcement Companies office to make a payment arrangement and they were told it was not possible, they had to speak to the EA that was dealing with it. The mother paying over £500 and attempts to pay further amounts should have been enough to satisfy the Enforcement Company.

 

In the first instance UB, unless we had been present at the Court on Friday we do not know that the young lad took his own life because of these two parking debts. There may well have been other debt related problems as well.

 

On the matter of the fees charged, we should not lose sight of the fact that payment for one penalty charge notice had been made some time in January and a payment arrangement was then set up. It looks as if that arrangement defaulted and a further visit was made in March last year. Can the bailiff charge an enforcement fee of £235 for that visit? I would say that he can.

 

I notice from press reports that his mother had stated that the enforcement company charged £310 for that visit. This was not correct at all. The compliance fee of £75 would have been added to the debt when the enforcement company sent the initial Notice of Enforcement. The visit in March would have attracted just the enforcement fee of £235.

 

It was the mother's partner who paid the sum of £500 to clear one of the debts in January and whether we like it or not, when it comes to an actual visit, many times payment is made by a third party.

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The tool of trade allowance is too low, it should be £2,500, as even if a motor or bike is worth less than the £1,350 other specialised tools may take value above that, removal of any of them could prevent that person from working

 

I would agree with you that the exemption figure (of £1,350) for vehicles considered as 'tools of the trade' is too low but then again, prior to 2014 (when the enforcement regulations were overhauled) there had been no exemption figure in place. I believe that the figure is broadly in line with that used by the Insolvency Service.

 

As I have said many times, I am a huge supporter of the introduction into the regulations of the 'compliance stage'. The fee at this stage is £75 but most importantly, it is at this stage that a payment arrangement (usually over a period of 3-4 months) can be set up and doing so, avoids the need for a personal visit and the debt increasing by £235 (enforcement fee).

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I find the whole system abusive to many people who just find it a struggle to make their way in life and there is little accountability for the actions of Enforcement Companies. Yes there are people who just don't care where they park and they are not bothered about paying tickets, but you can't judge all people in the same way.

 

It is clear from what i have read that Jerome was struggling to pay the amounts being asked for and there should be additional steps in the enforcement process, where those than cannot afford to pay, have a chance to come to a longer term payment arrangement. It should not be left to EC's to decide what repayment schedule is acceptable. Local authorities refuse to deal with people having problems in paying and refer them back to the EC.

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BA

Agree with you to a certain extent, the EA was not responsible for the debtors actions,

but he was the last bit of the jigsaw, that made him decided to do it.even if he had complied with the regs.

 

The EA complying with the Law, well we all no that the Law can sometimes be an ass,

The people making the Law do not always experience the same problems as Debtors,

they need to get out of there ivory towers sometimes and experience life at the bottom of the ladder.

 

This is where I agree with UB how is making someone in even more debt, with high fees going to solve the problem,

and get them out of debt,and the vicious circle of debt, all that is happening is the debt is pushed on to another.

 

Leakie

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Agree Leakie, fees to add debt on debt are illogical, some people will be trapped forever due to ongoing Council tax debt and annual Liability Orders sent to bailiffs. £1500 pa council Tax bill is crazy for someone on minimum wage or benefits where they have to stump up 25 - 50% of the bill


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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This debt was due to 2 motoring PCNs, increased in line with Stat procedures. No evidence he made in/formal Reps or appealed to ind Adj. Indeed the Judge noted the deceased was 'deeply indebted', suggesting a dependence on escalating loans to avoid imm consequences.

We all juggle debt but if you cannot pay within timescale, don't do it.

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Agree Mariner to a certain extent,

 

Yes do not get into debt, then there will be no problem,

Fact of life most people do end up with some sort of debt,

 

But the point the article is trying to make, he was pushed over the edge,

once in debt it is hard to get free, he was young and could not handle the debt,

 

yes he should not have burred his head in the sand, he did and could not take any more,

may be there were other underlying problems, things we will not know about.

 

But the EA was possibly the last straw.

 

Until the powers to be change there attitude over debt of what ever type,

and the use of EA's I am sure this will not be the last we hear of some one taking there own life.

 

Leakie

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There seems to be repeated comment about the difference between the ammount charged by bailiffs and the fine itself.

 

The fact is, the fees for enforcement are set to cover work done by the EA, it is not an additional fine or penalty.

Broadly it does not make a difference to the ammount of work the EA has to do if the debt is for £50 or £5000.

 

You cannot just reduce fees because then the bailiff would be doing the same work for less money. The fee scale is not tied to the level of fine.

 

This is a tragedy no doubt , and i cannot imagine the distress his family and friends must be going through, my sympathies are with them.


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Debt-ridden courier's suicide after bailiff visit prompts call for reforms

 

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/apr/30/debt-ridden-couriers-suicide-after-bailiff-visit-prompts-call-for-reforms

"two £65 parking fines that had escalated to a debt of £1,019 including non-payment penalties and fees for the use of bailiffs" in a matter of months.

"His weekly earnings in the months before his death were between £38 and £89"

 

 

"During Cutler’s first visit on 19 January, Rogers applied for several payday loans to try to clear the debt. His mother’s partner, Bentley Duncan, paid off £500" (of the 2 £65 motorcycle parking fines)

 

"Tracey Rogers said she felt Jerome’s inability to clear his debt to Camden council and the stress of the bailiff’s visits were the main factor in his suicide. “We are shocked that bailiffs have the power to seize people’s tools of trade, which will prevent them from working and earning the money to pay off their debt and that they can enforce unfeasible repayment plans,”

 

 

The bailiff said that he was paid by results. “On that one, yes, if I didn’t get a cleared warrant, I didn’t get paid. If I was to seize assets, my potential to earn more would increase" and claimed "the bike had been valued at between £1,500 and £2,000 and on that basis Cutler was permitted to clamp it"

 

..despite its actual value being confirmed at around £400 and "Martin Rogers, parking manager at Newlyn, admitted that the company’s system was unable to search the value of bikes, only cars"

BUT they clamped it anyway

 

 

Yet despite the bailiff clamping this poor mans motorcycle which was below the value allowed for clamping tools of trade, and needed by the man to earn an income from his role, we hear NOTHING about the bailiff or his supervisors being charged or even reprimanded in any way.


I express my honestly held opinions - they are nothing more or less than that.

... Its just doing some due diligence that makes them seem unusual ...

 

Please don't assume what you see here is what I wrote - At least some of my posts HAVE been edited without my knowledge or agreement - or anything showing people they have been amended

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